New Mexico’s Legislative Agenda

 

 

2018’s Fall elections resulted in victory for Democratic leaders in New Mexico, providing the party with an overwhelming majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. New Mexico’s executive branch followed a similar trend by welcoming the Democratic candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham into the office of Governor. In her State of the State address Grisham indicated that the year’s work within the legislature would be focused on education, crime, and economic development. Her address introduced plans to invest in universal pre-k and raising salaries within public schools so as to attract qualified and skilled professionals who can enhance the education available to all students. Expanding upon this thought, Grisham stipulated that New Mexico needed to utilize its resources to raise the minimum wage to at least $10, and furthermore invest in local business at the state level to alleviate the economic stress this change would incur for small business owners. Additionally, Grisham called for more restrictive gun control policies, and an increase in localized community policing. She promoted investment in rehabilitation efforts so that New Mexico can handle the immense issue of opioid addiction, as well as investment in health care services that are accessible to more people, as well as more ailments.

This agenda is supported by Democratic leaders within both the House and the Senate, including: Speaker of the House, Brain Egolf, House Majority Floor Leader, Sherill Williams Stapleton, and House Majority Whip, Doreen Gallagos. As well as the Senate Leader, Mary Kay Papen, Senate Majority Leader, Peter Wirth, and Senate Majority Whip, Mimi Stewart. Supplementing the apparent Democratic cohesion is the sheer numbers within both the House and the Senatorial margins. Democrats make-up over 65% of the House of Representatives having 46 members opposite 24 Republican members. Similarly, the Senate is composed of 26 Democrats and 16 Republicans providing the Democratic party with a 60% majority. Governor Grisham’s address called for legislatures to “bring me that rocket docket” referring to a series of bills crafted in the state legislature that she believes would be beneficial to the state. Republican representatives–namely: House Minority Floor Leader, James Townsend, House Minority Whip, Rod Montoya, Minority Senate Leader, Stuart Ingle, and Minority Senate Whip, William Payne—have renounced this action on the Democrats part. However, considering the margin within both the House and the Senate, Republican influence will probably be unlikely.

I reside in Ohio’s 11thcongressional district; meaning I am represented by Marcia Fudge in the U.S. House of Representatives, and, along with the rest of Ohio, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman in the U.S. Senate. Senator Portman is primarily focused on economic issues, as well as sectors such as health care and energy that are tangentially connected to the revitalization of the economy. His proposals request privatization and de-regulation among almost all sectors, which he believes will stimulate competition, business vitality, and innovation across the American economy. For Ohio, in particular, he thinks that investment in clean energy reforms can enhance job growth within the state, and nationally allow the country to reduce dependency on foreign energy supplies. Generally, Senator Portman is working to produce what he believes to be fiscally responsible policies, which requires reduced government spending and sizeable tax cuts for businesses that, to him, removed from government intervention would make substantial gains for the economy. Senator Brown is similarly interested in revitalizing the economy but suggests alternative avenues to achieve economic success. Instead of calling for massive de-regulation and tax-cuts, Senator Brown asserts that investment in small businesses, education, and infrastructure is necessary at both the State and Federal level. Additionally, he demonstrates support for social services, which he believes would alleviate economic turmoil. Aligned with Senator Brown, Congresswoman, Marcia Fudge, calls for investment into the economy through job training and small business incentives. Aside from the economy, she adamantly supports the provision of Medicaid, and making education more accessible at primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels.

I think that both Senators, and Congresswoman Fudge are addressing invaluable issues, however, my personal ideology aligns me more with the proposals of Senator Brown and Congresswoman Fudge. Privatization and de-regulation will not necessarily spur economic growth by allowing markets to interact on their own. Market failures are real issues that require the government to act in a way that may appear counterintuitive to traditional economic theory. Additionally, small businesses cannot be expected to always compete in any scale of economy without educational, and financial resources. Additionally investment in health care and education is vital to a society that values the well-being of and meaningful contributions from its citizens.

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